2% higher fuel consumption projected
The Energy Business Department forecasts 2020 fuel consumption will increase 2%, driven by benzene, diesel and jet fuel, while consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas for vehicles (NGV) are projected to decline this year.
Nantika Thangsuphanich, the department's director-general, said this projection is based on GDP growth ranging 2.8-3% if the government's stimulus packages are deployed throughout the year.
The department forecasts fuel consumption in the first quarter will rise 6.6% to 133 million litres per day because of high demand.
Ms Nantika projected Dubai crude oil will stay in a range of US$65-70 per barrel in 2020 as US-Iran military tensions improve.
In 2020, diesel consumption is estimated to grow 6.3% to 71.6 million litres per day.
Biodiesel B10 has been classified as a fundamental diesel, replacing B7 from early 2020. B10 is projected to record 22.5 million litres per day this year, up from only 100,000 litres last year.
B7 is expected to drop to 38.9 million litres per day from 59.9 million litres.
B20 is estimated at 7.1 million litres in 2020, up from 4.5 million litres.
Ms Nantika said B10 will account for nearly 90% of total diesel consumption and with B7, B20 and premium diesel taking up the remaining 10%.
"Oil traders plan to expand availability of B10 at roughly 3,000 petrol stations nationwide and the government is maintaining a price gap for B10 to be two baht cheaper per litre than B7 throughout this year," she said.
In 2020, the department projects the benzene consumption to total 33.4 million litres per day, up 3.7%. Some 32.3 million litres of those are from gasohol types E10 (octane 91 and 95), E10 and E85.
Premium benzene is expected to see consumption of 1.1 million litres per day in 2020. Jet fuel will grow 7.4% to 20.8 million litres, while bunker oil will rise 24% to 6.7 million litres.
LPG and NGV will decrease by 1.9% to 17.5 million kilogrammes per day and by 7.4% to 5 million kg per day, respectively.
On Monday, the department reported diesel consumption last year rose 1.8% to 64.4 million litres, while benzene use grew 3.7% to 32.2 million litres per day.
Jet fuel grew 0.8% to 19.3 million litres per day.
LPG and NGV contracted by 0.2% to 17.8 million kg and by 11.7% to 5.4 million kg per day, respectively.
Ms Nantika said the government supports higher use of biodiesel to reduce the emission of ultrafine dust blanketing the country.
Citing test results, B10 can reduce PM2.5 by 3.5-13.5%, while B20 can decrease levels by over 20%, she said.